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“Very unique!”

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Express St. James Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cimarron
Certificate of Excellence
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
71 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Very unique!”
Reviewed October 26, 2011

We stayed in the annex part of the old hotel, but after hearing all the ghost stories, I wish we had chosen the old hotel. The entire facility has a mysterious, colorful flavor that drew me right in. Finding this place was a happy accident, as we had never heard of it and only found it after searching Trip Advisor (thanks reviewers!). Our room in the annex was a bit dated, but certainly clean and well kept. The beds were comfortable and everything seemed to be in working order. I think if you want the real experience here, be sure to stay in the historic part of the hotel. I am hoping to return next year and hopefully see or hear what all the bruhaha is about over the ghosts. We also ate in the restaurant for dinner and the free breakfast buffet. I ordered the trout for dinner and my adult son, who was my travelling companion for this trip, had a ribeye steak. Everything was delicious. I will say that our server was less than hospitable. His service was adequate, but I just got the feeling we were bothering him by being there. Perhaps he had intended to be off work early that evening? He did seem like a nice guy once we got to visiting with him after the meal, but I think he could have been more cordial during our dining experience. After all, it IS the hospitality industry, right? Breakfast was fine, an assortment of mixed fruit, eggs, meats, cereals, etc. and it was all buffet-style. All in all, this was a great experience, and I will definitely go back.

Room Tip: If possible, get a room in the historic section, lots more personality than the annex rooms
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank judyhobbes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
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English first
Philly
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2011

If you are looking for an authentic old west experience, you've got to stay here. From the minute you walk in you feel it. I gave it a rating of 5/5 not because it is luxurious - which it is not - or full of amenities, but because it is the real deal. I don't know any other place where one would find an experience like this.

We were on an adventure to follow the old Santa Fe Trail and Cimarron was our starting point. There's not much here. The St James Hotel is the main attraction. It captures the town's history of cowboys,law men and outlaws. They all stayed here.

It was a highlight of our trip.

P.S. We didn't have any haunting experiences.

Room Tip: We were in room 1. It was near the lobby but since we were almost the only ones staying there, there...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank cascorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hastings, Nebraska
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2011

I chose to stay at the St. James Hotel because of the paranormal activity that was claimed. I arrived late in the afternoon on a warm October day. From the outside I wasn't that impressed with the hotel, but after walking inside it was stepping back to the late 1800's.

The check in area had the old boxes where the keys to the rooms are located and had a holster and gun hanging on the side. After checking in I had to walk through swinging doors that led to the rooms. A theater rope hung in the doorway with the door to the room open so you could view the unoccupied rooms. I stayed in the historic portion of the hotel so there was no airconditioner, no TV, and no phone. The annex has all the amenities, but it is the historic portion that is supposed to be haunted.

After entering the room I placed an overnight bag on a chest located at the foot of the bed and settled into the room. When it came time to get some sleep I shut my laptop comuper off and set in on the floor beside the bed. Because it was a warm night I covered only with the sheet. Around 3:30 in the morning I was awaken by the sound of my laptop starting Windows. While I didn't see anyone in the room it began to get cooler, enough to where a blanket was needed. I looked over the side of the bed and my wireless mouse was still sitting onto of the computer. About this time I heard the sound of Windows closing. After about an hour or so the room warmed up again where the blanket made it too warm. In the morning when I woke up, my overnight bag that had been placed on the chest was now on the floor. While I don't remember knocking it off, I guess it's possible. However, because of the hotels claims I want to believe it was my early morning guest.

The staff was very friendly and the breakfast buffet was one of the best for a hotel. Will definetly be back again.

Room Tip: The floors are all wooden so it's best to choose an upstairs room. I heard the other guest talk...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Randy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
91 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2011

My husband and I stayed in famed room #17 hoping to see (or smell) Mary's ghost. Mary was quiet that night but I felt a tapping and a light weight settling on my legs. Mary's cat or small dog? Spooky! Our room was charming and comfortable. The downstairs hallway was lined with old photographs and interesting historic articles about the hotel and its guests. The staff were friendly and helpful. Be sure to take the walking tour of Cimarron. Ask for a map at the front desk.

Room Tip: Request a room in the original hotel if you like authentic experiences.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cathy0606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2011

My wife thought it would be a great birthday surprise to get a room here for the night. Problem is, she made me wait almost two months for it! It was well worth the wait, and the long drive.

We flew in to Alburquerque for the balloon fiesta, and got up suuuper early to get to the balloon grounds, but, alas, it was rained out. That's ok. We then headed to Santa Fe and got a bite to eat and walked around the plaza for a little while, until our meter ran out. Then finally we were on our way to Cimarron! It was a nice little road trip, off the beaten path. We find the right street, cross a bridge over a stream, then there it was. The St. James is exactly what you see in the pictures from the outside. Inside, it's a different world.

Walking up the stairs to our room, Mary Lambert's personal quarters, we notice the wall paper seems to be authentic, 1880s vintage, with tears and sags. A Hollywood set designer couldn't make it feel more haunted! The walls are thick, the floor sags at the far end of the hall, and everything creaks. Did I say the floor sags? I really mean that the entire hallway sags a little at the end, making you feel a little tipsy as you creep down the hall, trying not to wake the ill-tempered J.T. Wright in room 18. There are several different types of creak coming from the floor. There is the "going-up-the-stairs" creak, the "going-down-the-stairs" creak, the "walking-down-the-hall-in-the-middle-of-the-day" creak, the "walking-down-the-left-side-of-the-hall" creak, the "walking-down-the-right-side-of-the-hall" creak, the "trying-to-find-a-spot-that-doesn't-creak" creak, the "Just-want-to-get-a-drink-of-water-from-the-bathroom-down-the-hall-in-the-middle-of-the-night-and-don't-want-to-wake-anybody-up" creak, the "peeking-out-the-door-to-see-who-made-that-creak-and-woke-me-up" creak, and the unexpected "nobody-could-have-made-that-creak-because-it-was-right-behind-me-and-I-am-all-alone-on-the-second-floor" creak. We heard them all, except the last one.

We have been on a few ghost tours in El Paso, TX and I have been lucky enough to see, hear, and feel some ghostly things, so I have been able to tune-in to the things ghosts do. We didn't see, hear, of feel anything on this trip. I guess it is possible that while we were here on vacation at the St. James, the ghosts were at my house on vacation, scaring our pets, drinking our beer, using our bathrooms, and erasing the recordings on my cable box. The employees seemed surprised that we had not been visited by one of the permanent residents, and so were we.

Earlier in the day, we had a drink in the bar. The bartender was friendly and likeable, dressed in either period costume or the local style. Not sure which, things don't change much in places like Cimarron (and that is a good thing). The staff was also friendly and likeable. And genuine, which seems to be quite a popular trait in this part of the country.

Dinner was great. I had the 12oz beef ribeye with mashed potatoes, and salad. The steak was not as tender as I expected, but these aren't kobe cows, they are New Mexico cows, and things in New Mexico are tougher. My wife had the chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and sweet potato fries. It was too much to eat. We could have split just one order and been rubbing our swollen bellies afterwards, purring like kittens. The food was way too good to be hiding all the way up in Cimarron, but the locals don't seem to mind. The dining room was pretty full, and most of the people were local. Why cook at home when you have a place like this just down the street? The breakfast buffet was great, too. Southwest style scramble with peppers and cheese, huge sausages, thick bacon, fruit juices, biscuits and gravy, and good coffee. I know I'm forgetting something, but now I'm drooling and can't think straight.

After your stay at the hotel, do yourself a favor and take a look around the area. There are quite a few historic buildings and locations just a short distance away.

In my opinion, the St. James Hotel was saved in the nick of time. This is one of the cool, rare places in the country where you can truly interact with history, historical figures, and actually walk into the rooms, without looking over your shoulder for the security guard and cameras. Looking into our room, I truly thought there should have been one of those velvet museum ropes keeping me out.

The only thing that would have made our stay better is to have been scratched, punched, yelled at, or pushed down the stairs (by a ghost not the employees, this isn't the Ho***** Inn in S** A******).

Room Tip: For a more historic (haunted) experience stay on the second floor of the original hotel. If you want...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nodrytime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 6, 2011

From the moment you step into this hotel you're transported back to the 1800's! The hotel staff is incredible. Price is very reasonable which included a breakfast buffet. If you love the old West, this hotel is for you. My Mom, sister and I stayed in the Bat Masterson room. If you like modern conveniences in your hotel room then book next door. No hair dryer's, television's or phone's in these rooms but you do get the feel of historic figures walking the halls. The food is very good and reasonably priced. And, yes, I did have a paranormal experience...it was electrifying needless to say! We can't wait to return! Thank you again St. James staff!!!

Room Tip: Any room in the original hotel is good for experiencing the St. James!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kahligal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2011

We stayed as part of a driving trip that had us stopping for a day in Cimarron and the Philmont Scout Ranch. The hotel staff was great and let us check in early as our room in the annex was ready. The room itself is not fancy but has the basics covered and was clean & quiet. We enjoyed dinner that night and breakfast the next day in the dining room. The food was outstanding for both meals. The breakfast buffet is included in the hotel stay and is a very good deal overall. All the food was fresh, hot, and tasted excellent. The manager stopped by to see how things were going at each meal. The servers were polite and helpful. The hotel staff was friendly. The historic part of the hotel is fantastic to see and we enjoyed reading all about the history. If it would have been nicer (cooler) weather, I would have stayed in the historic part of the hotel but as they cannot have AC, I thought the annex was better suited to our needs. Overall we were very happy and if we were in the area again, wouldn't hesitate to book here again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank rs11738
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Express St. James Hotel

Property: Express St. James Hotel
Address: 617 South Collison, Cimarron, NM 87714
Location: United States > New Mexico > Cimarron
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cimarron
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Get into the "spirit" of the Old West at the Express St. James Hotel. Relax in a room where frontier legends stayed but beware, some of our "guests" have never checked out. For those seeking less excitement stay in the modern annex side. Guests can choose from a variety of entrees in the restaurant complimented by a drink in the Bar. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
St James Hotel
St James Cimarron

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